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Walter Benjamin, tourist and traveler: Italia (1912) and Ibiza/Eivissa (1932-1933)




tourism, Italy, Ibiza, travel guides


The life, experience, and work of Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) provide a window, from a peculiar point of view, for observing tourism’s evolution in Europe in the first third of 20th century. His experiences in Italy (1912) and Ibiza (1932-1933) allow to observe the contrast between, on one hand, a developed touristic destination, which was well known before the travel and easy accessible through collective transport and, on the other, a primitive island, relatively isolated and virgin, which pretended to be advertised, to create touristic infrastructure and to be incorporated to international markets. Moreover, Walter Benjamin identified the disappointed tourist’s stereotype, analyzed different ways of relation/perception of foreign places -which allowed him to distinguish between resident, traveler, and tourist- and perhaps criticized already the massive tourism effects what he foresaw in Ibiza.




Human Sciences